Illegal fishing harms Indonesian economy and marine life

November 30, 2008

Indonesia: Marine and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi has said that illegal fishing by foreign vessels costs the eastern part of the nation trillions of Rupiah in lost revenue per year.

Since January, more than 500 foreign ships have been caught fishing in Indonesian waters. However Mr Numberi said that foreign vessels continued to fish illegally in Indonesian waters including the Arafura Sea.  “I remind all law and security officers involved in illegal fishing raids and investigations not to be lured with money offered by ships’ owners,” he was quoted as saying in the Jakarta Post. Mr Numberi said that illegal fishing also damaged sea biota.

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Imarex announces third quarter results

November 30, 2008

Imarex continued its strong development in the third quarter 2008, with sharply increased operating revenue, operating profit and net results compared to the third quarter last year.

Earning per share was NOK 1.22 in the third quarter 2008, up from NOK 0.37 in the same period last year.The financial turmoil reduces demand visibility and the overall growth outlook but also opens new opportunities in clearing. While Imarex sees a positive long-term market outlook and remains well positioned to continue to gain market shares in all segments, the company acknowledges that the overall growth is likely to be lower than previously expected in the near- and medium-term. Please find enclosed the completed interim report and presentation for the third quarter 2008.Third quarter highlights: – Operating revenue of NOK 179 million in the third quarter, up from NOK 63 million in the third quarter 2007- Pre-tax profit of NOK 25.1 million, up from NOK 6.4 million in the third quarter in 2007 – Positive operating cash flow of NOK 13.9 million and liquid funds of NOK 643.8 million – Energy trading volume at 3,024 TWh, up 13% from the third quarter 2007 (pro forma) – Freight trading volume at 125,661 lots, up 40% from the third quarter 2007 ‘Although the Imarex Group will continue to evaluate growth opportunities through M&A, the company`s main focus is currently on organic business development and further improvements in operational efficiency and cost control,` says CEO Herman W. Michelet in Imarex.

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Oil hits $55 ahead of Opec talks

November 30, 2008

Oil rose in late trade on short-covering ahead of Opec’s meeting this weekend after slowing demand sent prices down nearly 20% in November.

US crude traded up 76 cents to $55.20 a barrel at 2:32 p.m. EST (1932 GMT) in late post-settlement trade. Earlier, US crude settled at $54.43 a barrel, down 1 cent from Wednesday’s close, in a shortened Nymex trading session. US markets, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, were shut on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, though US crude did trade on the Globex electronic platform. London Brent crude settled at $53.49, up 36 cents from Thursday. “It looked like there was some short-covering ahead of the Opec meeting,” Jim Ritterbusch, president, Ritterbusch & Associates, in Galena, Illinois, told Reuters. “There was some support from the recovery in the stock market.” US stocks rebounded from early losses as financials gained on signs that liquidity measures were beginning to work. Oil prices have tumbled from record highs over $147 a barrel struck in July as demand in the US and other large consumer nations slumped amid an economic crisis. Global oil demand is expected to decline slightly this year and next, the first fall in a generation because of the world economic downturn, according to a Reuters poll. Crude’s steep November drop followed a 32% fall in October, the biggest monthly drop ever. The losses came despite agreements by Opec since September to cut output by a total of 2 million barrels per day. Opec ministers gathering in Cairo for an informal meeting this weekend said they were likely to defer a decision on more output cuts until the 17 December meeting in Algeria. A Reuters poll this week of 15 analysts forecast by a narrow margin that Opec would make no announcement of a further reduction in oil output this weekend but would probably do so at its meeting in Algeria.

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Baltic Dry Index teeters on record low

November 30, 2008

Hong Kong: On Thursday, the Baltic Dry Index, which measures dry bulk shipping rates on 40 routes across the world, sank 3.9% to 733 points, its seventh straight daily decline and its lowest level since January 1987.

The index has plummeted 94% from its high in late May. Many are anticipating that in the next couple of weeks it could hit a record low. Putting a brave face on the market, Kenneth Koo, group ceo and chairman of Hong Kong bulk owner Tai Chong Cheang Steamship, told Seatrade at a press conference earlier this week, that he hoped the current plunge would be a ‘short and sharp’ one. He said the market could be back up to manageable levels by Q2 next year. Mr Koo, who is also deputy chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, was speaking at an event in Hong Kong to detail next year’s premier shipping event, Sea Asia, to be held in Singapore on April 21 where leading owners will debate the perilous state of the markets.

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Mumbai violence claims maritime victim

November 29, 2008

Mumbai: Yacht charterer Andreas Liveras has been confirmed as one of the fatalities of the terror strikes in the city of Mumbai – India’s financial capital.

The attacks, which have killed over 120 people and wounded over 300 more, have brought business in the city to a virtual standstill and lead to a suspension of activity at the ports due to a curfew imposed by the army. Liveras, a British-citizen, operated a family run luxury yacht charter business. He was one of a number of people severely injured when armed terrorists took control of the Taj Mahal Hotel (pictured) and was declared dead upon arrival at St George’s hospital this morning as the result of gun shot wounds. Police in Mumbai are still trying to resolve the situation, which began on Wednesday evening. A number of foreign nationals are still being held hostage at the Oberoi Trident Hotel. Local papers have reported that two of the captured terrorists may hold British passports, but co-ordinated the attacks from neighbouring Pakistan. The situation remains unclear at this time.

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Shipping industry runs into troubled waters

November 29, 2008

The financial crisis of the last few months and the ensuing economic downturn are putting enormous strains on the once booming ocean shipping industry.

Benefiting from the past several years of expanding shipping volumes and building ever-larger ships to meet increasing demand to move containers, the shipping industry is now starting to seize up as the demand substantially weakens. As a result, major container shippers, bulk operators and port authorities in China are suddenly suffering badly as the slumping export sector passes on the impact of slumping worldwide demand. Shanghai, one of the world’s busiest ports, has cut its container traffic target for the year by 5 percent, blaming this on the global financial crisis and an economic slowdown. With a container volume of 26.15 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year on the back of over 20 percent growth, Shanghai surpassed Hong Kong for the first time in 2007 to become the world’s No 2 container port, second only to Singapore. However, such phenomenal growth has been tempered by the ongoing global economic recession. Total container throughput in Shanghai is expected to reach 28.5 million TEUs, less than its earlier target of 30 million TEUs. The port attributed the slowdown to the drop in export volumes and sluggish domestic demand, according to Chen Xiyuan, president of Shanghai International Port Group Co (SIPG), operator of China’s busiest container port. Chen said container exports to the US, which account for 20 percent of the city’s total export volume, have slid 7.8 percent in the first nine months of this year. In addition, shipping fees have been dropping like a stone, Chen said. The shipping price from Shanghai to Europe, for example, has fallen from $1,000 to $200 per container since the beginning of this year. With the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of commodity-shipping rates, tumbling 90 percent off its May peak, many shipping companies in China are reportedly keeping their ships idle, because the current prices can barely cover their costs. The situation is just as grim at shipyards. As slowing economic growth cuts demand for steel, coal and iron ore, demand for ships is also falling.

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Vietnamese workers laid off as shipbuilders and owners face bankruptcy

November 29, 2008

Vietnam: Thousands of workers have lost their jobs as shipyards in the Xuan Truong district in the Nam Dinh Province.

Between 1,500 and 3,000 workers have been laid off indefinitely, the Chief of the Secretariat of the Xuan Truong District People’s Committee Doan Nang Vinh confirmed. Hundreds of incomplete ships have thus been abandoned in this district located along the Red River Delta. Deputy Head of the Xuan Truong District’s Industry and Trade Sub-Department, Ngo Doan Tho said that shipbuilders and owners were unable to secure finances and were facing bankruptcy. It generally costs over US$2.05 million to build a 2,000-tonne ship and ship owners generally borrow the majority of this figure from the banks, but they cannot afford the current interest rates.

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